I often find myself missing having two kids. It seems to be getting more and more frequent that I look down at my baby boy playing on the floor and miss that there is not a 3 year old entertaining him. It's been making it hard for me to play with him myself. I shouldn't be the one entertaining him - it should be Saoirse. She should be shaking the toy while I do the dishes. She should be showing him how to hammer the toys, while I do a load of diapers. She should be reading him a book, while I clean the dining room. He's missing it - all of it.
We went to Russell Orchards to get cider doughnuts and take pictures with pumpkins. (We used to take Saoirse to Smolak's, but we just can't go back yet.) I wanted a picture of Lochlan in a bucket of pumpkins, just like we had done with Saoirse both halloween seasons. I brought her little hat that she had worn in the first one (I spared putting him in her same outfit). I went to put him in a nice big bucket - and promptly go yelled at. Apparently pumpkins roll - and I shouldn't be putting a baby where pumpkins might roll and crush him (like I was going to just leave him there for a while). I wanted to walk up to that man and ask him if he understood that my baby girl could never sit in another bucket of pumpkins. That she could never hold her brother in her lap and take a picture in the pumpkin patch. That the world is full of risk, and sitting in a bucket of pumpkins is the least of my worries for him. But I didn't. He didn't need that from me. I just took Lochlan to a different bucket and did it anyway.
I will put him in her pea pod costume and parade him down the street on halloween. I will put the photos of him next to the photos of her and see if they look the same - even though she was almost 2 months older at halloween, and he is just huge. I will do the things that I would have done if she was still here with us. But I will do it all while utterly missing her actually being here. And knowing that I only have 18 months of comparisons before there are no more side by sides. And when that day arrives, there will just be one picture going forward.